Engel MT45FP Digital Series Review

Engel-MT45FP-PopupEngel has been a longstanding and reliable name when it comes to the portable fridge market, with their various models of durable, steel-cased fridges servicing several generations of happy campers and travellers over their 50 year run.

Engel's latest entry into the popular and hotly competitive 40L market is their MT45FP Digital Series, and true to Engel form, this unit proves to be one of their best releases yet. A successor to their incredibly popular MT45FP Platinum fridge/freezer, the MT45FP Digital includes all the traits that make Engel the leaders in the portable fridge industry. The sturdy, solid steel casing is tough and durable, meaning your fridge will happily wear the odd knock or dent without any issue year after year, unlike some of the polypropelene cases of other brands that are prone to cracking or splitting under punishment.

The fridge is once again powered by Engel's famed Sawafuji swing motor, a compressor that has served the company well over the years. With only a single moving part, the Sawafuji is powerful, quiet, and needs little in the way of servicing, with a minimal chance of fault even after decades of use. It's the same compressor Engel have relied on for many years, and has helped gain them the reputation for reliability that their products carry. With many of the bigger brands moving towards cheaper, self-branded compressors to cut manufacturing costs, it's good to see a company still willing to invest in tried and true quality and reliability - as the old saying goes, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'

Like most Engel units, the fridge runs on both 12/24v and 240v via separate outlets, and comes with all the cables required. On average, a fridge like this will run for about 2 - 2.5 days via a standard 120Ah Deep Cycle battery via 12v power. The unit can be used as either a fridge OR a freezer, but not both at the same time - if you're after a dual-zone unit, that's where their MT45FCP Digital comes in.

The real drawcard here though are the new digital features. After the popularity of Engel's gold MT45FG 50th Anniversary model, they decided to upgrade their standard units with the same digital wizardry found in the limited edition unit. The MT45P Digital boasts a new built-in Battery Monitor Cut-Out system, which will save your car battery from ever being drained and leaving you stuck in the middle of nowhere - a feature that would normally costs about $250 alone if purchased as a separate unit. Coupled with this is a new digital thermostat, allowing you to manually set the exact temperature of the fridge, making the older dial-based 'low to high' controls look archaic by comparison.

One thing to note that's always been a potential caveat with Engel's smaller range of fridges is the height. It's quite tall for a 40L unit at 508mm, so be sure to measure up the space that it needs to fit before purchasing, though the unit is so good you'll likely want to try and make room for it.

With the new digital features now built in as standard on top of Engel's already famous reliability and quality, the MT45FP Digital Series is a real winner for anyone in the market for a new 40L portable fridge. It's sturdy, clean, well made, looks great, and not only lives up to the Engel name, but sets a new benchmark for anything the portable fridge giant is looking to follow up with.

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